A Honduran drug trafficker said “he paid thousands of dollars to former President of Honduras, Porfirio Lobo, in exchange for assistance in carrying out drug trafficking operations”.
Lobo rejected on Tuesday the accusations of Devis Leonel Rivera Maradiaga, considered the leader of the cartel “Los Cachiros”.
Rivera, who is detained in the United States, made the statement Monday during a hearing on the case of Fabio Porfirio Lobo, the former president’s son, who pleaded guilty last year to criminal charges of smuggling cocaine into the United States.
The drug trafficker said he “repeatedly bribed Lobo and his son” with amounts that totaled “more than $ 600,000 before and after he became president”. The alleged payments occurred between 2009 and 2013.
At one point, he even claimed that he had a meeting with Lobo and that shortly afterwards he handed over to his security staff a suitcase with about $ 300,000 for the former president.
The attorney for the former president’s son, Manuel Retureta, declined to discuss the case with CTN News – Conspiracy Talk on Tuesday.
In Honduras, Lobo denied receiving bribes from “Los Cachiros” from 2010 to 2014.
“I never received money from these criminals,” the former president told reporters at his residence in El Chimbo, on the outskirts of the capital.
Rivera, who collaborated with the DEA, has pleaded guilty to several crimes and ordered the killing of 78 Hondurans, including Honduras’ anti-drug czar Julián González in December 2009. He was surrendered to the United States in 2015.
Lobo said Tuesday that “my actions as president are the clearest signs of my commitment to Honduras.”
Rivera said he paid the money to the former president to obtain protection and to be able to transport drugs from South America to Honduras and from there to the United States. He also said he “hoped to prevent him and his brother from being extradited”.
The drug trafficker also said that he “worked with the son of former president Fabio to win contracts with the government” and thus be able to launder money obtained in drug trafficking.
Rivera mentioned several Honduran officials who were also allegedly offered protection, including current Security Minister Julián Pacheco Tinoco.
The Honduran “Ministry of Security denied the allegations” Tuesday in a statement.
“These malicious and unsubstantiated assertions are intended to undermine the concrete actions that the State of Honduras carries out against organized crime,” the government said.
It is expected that next week another hearing will be held for a future ruling in the case of the son of former President Lobo.